Karen Kadish  //  10/9/18  //  Daily Update


Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court on Saturday, in a remarkably close vote in the Senate. President Trump says that he does not plan to remove Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, saying “I actually have a good relationship other than there’s been no collusion.” A Trump campaign official sought information on how to create fake social-media profiles and use social-media manipulation to help win the 2016 presidential election. Changes on the DOJ website show a shift towards a punitive approach toward juveniles. New DOJ indictments against Russian officials show the connection between international sports and the Russian government’s strategic objectives in asserting national power.

 

SUPREME COURT APPOINTMENT OF BRETT KAVANAUGH

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as an associate justice of the Supreme Court on Saturday, in a remarkably close vote in the Senate (WSJ; NYT; WaPo; LA Times).

  • The Kavanaugh hearings and ultimately his confirmation taint notions of judicial independence and the Supreme Court’s non-partisan reputation, write Tom Ginsburg and Aziz Huq at Take Care Blog.
  • There is a more general concern that the appointment of Judge Kavanaugh will impact the perceived legitimacy of the Supreme Court, especially because of the massive protests against Kavanaugh’s appointment (NYT; WSJ; WaPo).
  • Some of the partisan politics regarding Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination was directed at the FBI investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct that were levied against Mr. Kavanaugh (WaPo).
  • Many members of the legal community, including over 2,400 law professors, have spoken out against Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment (NYT; Balkinization).
  • Democrats are now considering what political moves they can take in response to Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation (Slate; NBC; NYT).
  • Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment and the allegations from his past are part of a larger story of power, influence, and the political capital needed to attain a Supreme Court position, write Marc Fisher, Ann E. Marimow, and Michael Kranish at The Washington Post.

 

TRUMP: INVESTIGATION AND LITIGATION

President Trump says that he does not plan to remove Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, saying “I actually have a good relationship other than there’s been no collusion.” (NYT).

 

IMMIGRATION

A district court issued an injunction stopping the Trump Administration’s termination of Temporary Protected Status for immigrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan (Immigration Prof Blog).

 

CIVIL RIGHTS

Changes on the DOJ website show a shift towards a punitive approach toward juveniles, writes Jon Campbell at Sunlight Foundation.

 

DEMOCRACY 

A Trump campaign official sought information on how to create fake social-media profiles and use social-media manipulation to help win the 2016 presidential election, report Mark Mazzetti, Ronen Bergman, David D. Kirkpatrick, and Maggie Haberman at The New York Times.

 

JUSTICE & SAFETY

New DOJ indictments against Russian officials show the connection between international sports and the Russian government’s strategic objectives in asserting national power, writes Megan Reiss at Lawfare.

On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence gave a 40-minute speech criticizing China for a host of political, economic, and human-rights infractions. This speech is indicative of the tension between the Trump administration and the Chinese government (WSJ). 

There was also a public confrontation between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Chinese foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing, with Foreign Minister Wang accusing the United States of escalating trade friction and unjustifiably criticizing Chinese policies (WSJ).

South Korean foreign minister, Kang Kyung-wha spoke about South Korea’s perspective on North Korean negotiations, the role of the United States in North Korean denuclearization, and South Korea’s hopes with regards to the relationship between North and South Korea (WaPo).

 


Daily Update | February 21, 2019

2/21/19  //  Daily Update

Justice Department officials believe that Robert Mueller will potentially finish his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election by next week. President Trump announced that the United States would not re-admit Hoda Muthana, a student who traveled to Syria to try to join the Islamic State, but has apologized and wishes to return to the United States. The Supreme Court on ruled 9-0 that the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution’s ban on excessive fines applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment in Timbs v. Indiana. The Environmental Protection Agency has begun to lay out a new plan to change Obama-era rules and make regulation of mercury and air toxins substantially more difficult. Members of Congress have grown concerned that Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats may soon be removed from his position by President Trump.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | February 20, 2019

2/20/19  //  Daily Update

President Trump denied asking former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to put a U.S. attorney who would be sympathetic to President Trump in charge of the investigation into payments to a woman President Trump allegedly had an affair with. The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that a Texas man may not be executed due to his having an intellectual disability, reversing a Texas Court of Criminal Appeals decision. Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered a hearing on Roger Stone’s bail status after he posted an image on Instagram which appeared to show the judge’s head next to the crosshairs of a gun. President Trump signed an order to create a military branch under Air Force control that would primarily deal with threats in space, which he has referred to as a “space force.” The House Committee on Oversight and Reform released a report discussing allegations from whistleblowers that Michael Flynn and other members of the Trump administration were part of an effort to transfer nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia.

Jacob Miller

Harvard Law School

Daily Update | February 19, 2019

2/19/19  //  Daily Update

Sixteen states sue to challenge the President’s authority to declare a national emergency to build the border wall. A lawsuit was filed by multiple civil rights organizations challenging the administration’s policy of sending asylum seekers back to Mexico while their cases are considered. The budget bill passed last week pushes back against some Trump Administration policies, but overall continues to expand the federal government’s immigration prison regime. President Trump stopped cost-sharing payments under the ACA, and Congress may end up liable to insurers for over $12 billion in missed payments. The First Circuit says the board appointed to oversee Puerto Rico’s finances was illegally constituted, and President Trump may have to appoint a new one.

Hetali Lodaya

Michigan Law School